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all you knead is love

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At first glance Mark Lee doesn’t seem that bad a roommate. He goes to bed at a reasonable time, always cleans up after himself and wears headphones when he listens to music. One may argue that he’s the perfect roommate.

But Donghyuck knows better.

Mark Lee is a thief.

(Shortcake )

It starts innocent enough.

Donghyuck has been something of a baker ever since his mother taught him how to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch. He’s done everything from bread to pastries, but his expertise definitely lies in desserts.

One day he’s in the kitchen making a batch of cupcakes for Renjun’s birthday. The cakes are already out of the oven, cooling down, and he’s whisking the icing when the apartment door opens and Mark walks in.

They’ve only been living together for two weeks at this point, so they’re not that close yet, but Donghyuck has manners, and so does Mark apparently, because he walks into the kitchen and greets him.

“It smells really good,” Mark says, smiling awkwardly and eyeing the tray on the counter.

“I’m making cupcakes for my friend,” Donghyuck answers him. “It’s his birthday.”

“Oh,” the elder answers. “They look really good.”


They stare at each other for a moment longer, and then Donghyuck continues whisking his icing because, well, the cupcakes need to be finished, and Mark doesn’t comment any further. He nods and quickly hurries into his room, shutting the door behind him.

When Donghyuck finishes the cupcakes (the icing in pretty pastel colours, because he knows Renjun likes those tones) he orders them neatly in one of his take-along-trays his mother has gifted him, and puts them in the fridge for him to collect after his class finishes.

When he gets back in the evening, he quickly gets dressed in his room, does his hair and grabs the gift he bought. Opening the fridge, he finds the tray exactly where he left it. Opening the lid, he scans the cupcakes to make sure the icing is still in tact, when he notices it.

He made 16 cupcakes, and he’s certain of that because he always makes 16 cupcakes. That’s just the way his recipe works. But on the tray are definitely not 16 cupcakes. There’s 15 cupcakes, the empty spot sticking out like a sore thumb in the neatly ordered rows on the tray. He furrows his brows, kind of irritated but also angry, because how dare Mark just snag one of his cupcakes like that? Without asking, nonetheless. Donghyuck isn’t a monster, he would have given Mark one if he had asked, but just taking one, expecting not to get caught, is just plain rude.

He sends an annoyed glare at Mark’s bedroom door, and huffs. He doesn’t have the time to deal with his ill-mannered roommate now, but he sure won’t forget this misstep.

(Shortcake )

He doesn’t mention the incident to Mark in the following days, but he makes sure to stare at him threateningly from time to time to get his message across. Mark keeps giving him confused looks, and he looks so much like a kicked puppy that Donghyuck can’t really stay mad for much longer.

So when a week passes, Donghyuck is over the cupcake. Things have turned back to normal, meaning they still awkwardly interact with each other over dinner they share or walk into each other on their nightly bathroom trips.

Donghyuck almost looks forward to seeing Mark at home, to find him lounging on their couch in a cozy hoodie, or see him standing in the kitchen and randomly throw together a meal.


(Shortcake )

Donghyuck is a people pleaser, so when Yangyang asks him to bring brownies to their hangout, he’s quick to say yes. Problem is, he has no sugar in the apartment and no time to go out and get some. Quickly putting on his shoes, he crosses the hallway and knocks on the door.

The door opens just a few seconds later, Kim Doyoung sticking his head out.

“Hi, Donghyuck,” He greets, flashing him a gummy smile. “Forgot your keys again?”

“It was only three times,” Donghyuck whines as Doyoung already moves to grab their apartment’s spare keys. “But no. I was just gonna ask if I could borrow some sugar. I’m making brownies and ran out.”

Doyoung puts the keys back on the shelf and scratches his chin.

“Come in,” He says and leads Donghyuck inside his place. “I’ll see if we have some sugar left somewhere. Ever since we started living the healthy life we haven’t really bought any.”

Donghyuck rolls his eyes, having heard too much of their diets already.

They arrive in the kitchen and find Doyoung’s boyfriend sitting at the counter, fingers moving rapidly on his laptop. “Hi, Hyuckie,” Taeyong greets him softly. Donghyuck greets him while Doyoung rummages through their cupboards. “Do you know if we have any sugar left, Yongie?”

“No idea,” Taeyong says, not looking up from his screen.

“I think we might have thrown it all – no wait,” He says triumphantly, holding out a small package of sugar. “There we go.”

He hands Donghyuck the package and the younger grabs it, thanking the both of them profoundly.

When he pulls the brownie tray out of the oven an hour later, the entire apartment smells of savoury chocolate, luring Mark out of his room.

“Oh, you baked again,” He exclaims, smiling fondly at him. He’s wearing an oversized sweater that makes him look even lankier than he actually is, and has his headphones around his neck. “You’re really good at that, huh?”

He says it so softly that Donghyuck gets flustered. Sure, he’s been praised for his skills in the kitchen before, but hearing it from Mark makes it somehow different.

“I guess so,” He mumbles and focuses on putting his oven mitts back into the kitchen drawer.

“It smells good,” Mark compliments him once more, before disappearing back into his room, putting his headphones on.

When he’s sure the door is closed, Donghyuck pats down his cheeks to get rid of the blush that must have appeared by now. He tells himself it’s from the heat of the oven.

(Shortcake )

When he gets back to the kitchen to see if the brownies have cooled down, a huge piece of brownie is missing. Since Donghyuck didn’t eat it, there’s only one culprit: Mark Lee.

Mark Lee, who has also conveniently gone out already, not here to fall victim to Donghyuck’s wrath.

How dare he?

Donghyuck, boiling with rage, snatches his phone from the table and texts his friends.

Group Name: 3 musketeers(Dancer )(Dancer )(Dancer )
Participants: renjun, yangyang
Created: 6/11/2018 at 00:47


renjun: why

hyuck:: MARK STOLE SOME OF THE BROWNIES I MADE (Pouting Face )(Pouting Face )(Pouting Face )(Pouting Face )


renjun: ????? the audacity of this guy???


renjun: first my cupcakes now this??
renjun: did u confront him

hyuck: hes not home rn!!!! he left !!! that coward!!!!!

renjun: tell him off when he gets back !!!! he needs to know his place

hyuck: OHHH ! ! !! I WILL !!!!!!

yangyang: but first get here w my brownies pls thank u ily (Yellow Heart )

(Shortcake )

When he gets back to his apartment, he’s full on ready to confront Mark about his brownies. He stomps towards Mark’s room, ready to storm in, when he hears it.

Guitar strums, soft but confident. Melodic tunes resonating in the air, heard from even outside Mark’s room. Now, he knows that Mark brought a guitar with him when he moved in a few weeks ago, but so far he’s never actually heard him play. The anger in his chest quickly evaporates and he leans forward to put his ear against the door. Mark continues playing and it only takes a few more chords before Donghyuck recognises the song. A small gasp leaves his mouth, and he opens the door to Mark’s room.

Mark looks up, clearly startled by the sudden presence in his room. He’s wearing a different hoodie today, one in dark green that’s still way too big on him and Donghyuck silently wonders if his entire wardrobe consists of oversized sweatshirts.

“Hi,” Mark says, and it only sounds half like a question. “I didn’t know you were home.”

“That’s my favourite song,” Donghyuck says.

Mark laughs awkwardly, and pushes his black hair out of his face. It looks like Mark has recently showered, because some of the strands are still wet.

“You play it pretty often in your room,” He says eventually, before clearing his throat. “I’ve also heard you sing it sometimes when you’re in the kitchen, so…”

Donghyuck stares at him for a few seconds, completely forgetting the reason he even came to Mark’s room in the first place.

“I think I’ve got the chords down,” Mark says after a while, when it’s clear that Donghyuck is neither going to say anything else nor leave the room. “Do you want to sing the song while I play?”

He looks at Donghyuck while he says it, eyes wide with anticipation, calloused fingers awkwardly resting on the strings of his guitar.

Donghyuck hasn’t sung properly in a while, but here, standing in Mark Lee’s room for the first time in his life, he can’t do anything but nod.

“Cool,” Mark says, the corners of his mouth curling up slightly, somehow both embarrassed and excited at the same time. “Do you wanna sit down?”

He motions to the bed next to him, and Donghyuck does as he’s told. Mark shifts the guitar on his lap, before looking up at Donghyuck again, sending him a smile that quickly turns into a grin.

Donghyuck smiles back, and then Mark plays the opening chords to There’s A Light That Never Goes Out.

(Shortcake )

Donghyuck decides to forget about the stealing incidents: mostly because he’s a Mature Adult™ with his own place now, but also because he decides that Mark Lee is allowed to steal some of his pastries if he continues to play the guitar for him while looking exceptionally soft and adorable.

After that first song, they had done a few more covers until the both of them realized it was late and they had classes the next morning. They had decided to walk to campus together and Donghyuck wonders why they never properly hung out before, because despite Mark being kinda clumsy and awkward, he’s also pretty funny and refreshingly blunt.

They spend the rest of the week hanging out, sharing dinner and actually talking to each other while doing so. Mark even brings out his guitar some nights, but mostly they just get to know each other. Donghyuck finds out that Mark is a an engineering major, works part time at a record store and moved here from Canada when he was nine years old.

The thing is, that Donghyuck actually likes Mark now. So when Mark corners him the following week, he’s more than annoyed.

“You need to stop eating my snacks,” Mark says stiffly, and Donghyuck raises his eyebrows.

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me,” Mark replies, looking more uncomfortable by each second. “I’ve put my snacks in the left cupboard.”

“I didn’t steal anything,” Donghyuck answers, and tries to move past Mark.

Mark, however, grabs him by the arm and pulls him back.

“Just admit it and we can move on.”

Irritated by the sudden outburst and audacity of his roommate, he yanks his arm out of the hold and snorts.

“Why would I steal your stupid snacks when I could make anything I want myself?”

“I don’t know, maybe because your baking isn’t that good?”

Donghyuck gasps. “Liar!”

“Just stop eating my snacks,” Mark snaps. “I didn’t mention it the first few times, but this is getting ridiculous!”

“I’ve never touched your stuff! If anything, you’re the one who keeps eating my desserts!” Donghyuck can feel himself getting red in the face from anger. “Don’t think I haven’t noticed the missing pastries!”

Mark laughs, but it’s an ugly sound; nothing like the soft chuckles he’s used to hearing from him. “So now you flip it on me? I didn’t take anything!”

“Well, I didn’t take anything either, and since there’s no ghost living with us…” Donghyuck crosses his arms, irritated by the absurdity of the situation.

They stare at each other for a few more seconds, before Mark huffs and stomps away.

(Shortcake )

Things get awkward again. They still see each other in the hallways and living room, and Mark more often than not walks into the kitchen while Donghyuck is baking. Sometimes he says hi, sometimes he doesn’t. His gaze always lingers on him, though.
Donghyuck bakes, his pastries disappear.

Mark won’t talk to him, but he’ll steal his desserts. It doesn’t make sense. The weirdest thing is that despite everything, Donghyuck misses his company.

So Mark approaches him after a few days of awkward silence to ask for help with a cake for his brother’s birthday, he says yes.

(Shortcake )

Due to a power outage on campus, all classes have been cancelled for the day, which is how Donghyuck and Mark find themselves in their shared kitchen together. Dongyhuck is whisking eggs and sugar together while Mark clumsily puts flour into a measuring cup next to him. They work like this, Mark putting the ingredients in when Donghyuck tells him to, while soft music is playing over Mark’s bluetooth speaker in the background.

After Donghyuck puts the baking pan in the oven, he turns around and smiles at his roommate. “And now we wait,” He says, before looking at the kitchen counter. “Or clean up.”

Mark grins sheepishly, aware that he’s the reason most of the counter is covered in flour and sugar, but he grabs the cloth from the sink and gets to work.

“Thank you,” Mark says when they’re done, stepping a bit closer to Donghyuck. “You didn’t have to spend your afternoon with me doing this, but you did.”

Donghyuck shrugs, not really knowing how to react to the sudden sincerity of the situation. He looks up and is about to just tell him he’s fine, when he really focuses on Mark’s face. The entirety of Mark’s cheekbone is covered in white, and when he leans closer to inspect it, he can see it’s flour. He chuckles, not even bothering to hide his laughter. Mark furrows his brows, and Donghyuck is hit by how stupidly adorable he looks: dark hair mussed up, wire-framed round glasses on his nose and white powder on his cheek and lilac sweater.

“You have something on your face,” Donghyuck says and watches as Mark helplessly touches his cheek, ironically rubbing everything but the right spot.

“Is it gone?”

Instead of answering, Donghyuck steps even closer to the other boy, and raises his hand. Before he can even think about whether it’s weird to do so, he carefully puts his fingers on Mark’s cheekbone. He just rests them there, feeling the heat radiating from Mark’s face underneath his fingertips. With Mark’s eyes on him, he moves his fingers, slowly, before raising his thumb as well and removing any remains of flour on his features. Mark is still watching him, gaze intense and calculating. It feels like if Donghyuck looks closely enough, he’ll be able to hear him think.

When he’s about to put his hand down, Mark suddenly grabs his hand with his own. Only then is Donghyuck aware of how near they’re actually standing to each other, so close he can even smell Mark’s vanilla body wash on him. It all feels so homey and domestic that Donghyuck almost gets dizzy.

He looks up, and their eyes meet again, the other’s dark irises shining under the kitchen lights like stars. Mark is still holding his hand, caressing his fingers with his own, as if asking for permission. Donghyuck doesn’t even know permission for what, but he wants to give it so badly.

Mark starts leaning in, and Donghyuck holds his breath.

The door to their kitchen opens all of a sudden and they jump apart, both of them startled.

Taeyong stands there, eyes opened wide in surprise, their spare keys jingling in one of his hands.

The three of them stare at each other for a few seconds, before Mark eventually breaks the silence.

“…Can we help you?”

Taeyong continues staring at them, not saying anything. Donghyuck takes in his appearance, the way he nonchalantly walked in, clearly surprised to find them home. How shocked and embarrassed he appears to be. It suddenly hits him.

Have you been robbing us?

Taeyong hesitates for only a second. “…Yes?”

“Dude,” Mark says. “What the fuck.”

Suddenly, Taeyong seems to come to life. He raises his arms in surrender.

“Please don’t tell Doyoung!” He begs, eyes shining with unshed tears. “He’s so happy we’re doing the healthy thing and I really don’t want to ruin that for him. But…it always smells so good in the hallway and I—”

He’s staring at them with pleading eyes, while still holding onto the stolen goods in his arms. Mark looks at Donghyuck to make sure he agrees, and the younger nods.

“We won’t tell,” Mark says and furrows his brows. “But like, just ask or whatever. Don’t…steal.”Taeyong nods, and hurries off into his apartment.

“And I want those keys back!” Mark yells after him.

The two of them stand there for another few seconds, taking it all in, before Mark turns to him, sheepishly rubbing his neck.

“Well,” He murmurs. “That explains a lot, actually.”

“Yeah,” Donghyuck agrees, feeling like a heavy weight was lifted off of him. “Yeah, it does.”

They stare at each other for a bit longer, until Mark shifts from one foot to the other.

“So,” Mark swallows. “Where were we?”

Donghyuck grins, before grabbing Mark by the neck and pulling him in.